How to Make Yogurt

Yogurt - Pinterest

Everyone is always surprised at how easy it is to make yogurt. When I first learned how to make it, I remember thinking, “If it’s really that easy, then why would people bother buying it? Obviously there’s more to it than 2 ingredients, and 5 steps, right?” But honestly, it’s really is  that simple, I haven’t bought it since I’ve started making it, and neither will you.

I love fermentation, and I love talking about it–it’s like food science and it makes me giddy (wow has my life changed.) This post, Fermentation 101, discusses fermentation in more detail, but basically, all you need to know for now is… yogurt is just fermented milk. Shocker! With the help of beneficial bacteria from the starter-yogurt, the sugar in the milk, lactose, is fermented into lactic acid which coagulates (I hate that word) the milk. This fermentation process creates a probiotic-rich yogurt which helps to maintain healthy gut flora. That’s the very basics to behind the scenes of fermenting yogurt.

For fermentation to take place, the good bacteria need a warm environment to thrive, about 100°. As I mentioned in Step 5 below, putting your yogurt in the oven with ONLY the light on, provides a perfect temperature for the milk to ferment.

When your yogurt has finished fermenting, which takes about 24 hours, it should have a custard-like texture, a thin layer of yellow-ish liquid (whey) on top, and contain a mild, tangy taste. Your yogurt may not be as thick as some store-bought, because store-bought yogurt contains artificial thickeners. But rest assured, this yogurt is quite thick as far as homemade yogurt goes!

In order to turn this yogurt into Greek-style yogurt, simply strain some of the whey out using a cheese-cloth.

If you would like to sweeten or flavour your yogurt, stir in some honey, Grade B maple syrup, homemade jam  and/or berries, once it has finished fermenting.

This yogurt also pairs perfectly with homemade granola.

Don’t forget to set aside 1/2 a cup of your finished yogurt as your starter in your next batch.

Print Recipe
Homemade Yogurt in 5 Simple Steps
Yogurt the way it was meant to be--a custard like texture, full of probiotics your tummy will thank you for. This recipe turns out to make 2 Litres of yogurt (naturally, because you're using 2 Litres of milk), but feel free to half this recipe if you'd like to make a smaller batch.
Servings
Litres
Ingredients
  • 2 Litres Organic Milk No less than 2%, I'd recommend 3.25% or higher
  • 1/2 Cup Organic, Plain Yogurt Balkin Style works well (this is your starter and you won't have to buy it again, just set aside some of the finsihed product for your next batch)
Servings
Litres
Ingredients
  • 2 Litres Organic Milk No less than 2%, I'd recommend 3.25% or higher
  • 1/2 Cup Organic, Plain Yogurt Balkin Style works well (this is your starter and you won't have to buy it again, just set aside some of the finsihed product for your next batch)
Instructions
  1. In a pot, heat the milk to 180 degrees and stir frequently. I use a candy thermometer to check the temperature. At 180 degrees, it will have small bubbles forming on the surface, and be close to boiling temperature.
  2. Once it's reached 180 degrees, remove from heat, and let the milk cool to 100 degrees.
  3. When the milk has reached 100 degrees, whisk in the starter-yogurt.
  4. Pour the liquid into clean, glass jars with lids (you can use mason jars, old salsa jars etc., just make sure they're clean so bad bacteria doesn't grow.)
  5. Leave the jars in a warm place (a fairly consistent 100 degrees) to ferment for 24 hours, then refrigerate. I find that the best place to ferment the yogurt is in the oven with only the light on. If using this method, place a tea towel on a cookie sheet, and put the jars on that to prevent them from slidding around. You can also use a heating pad for the fermentation process. Simply place the the jars on the heating pad, and cover with a tea towel. There are also special fermentation chambers that you can buy, but for now, the oven works best for me (just make sure you don't accidentally turn it on, or else you get riccotta cheese...I learned this the hard way and used it to make lasagna the next night! lol
Recipe Notes

In the end, you will have a custard-like yogurt with a thin yellowish liquid on top--this is the whey, just mix it in (that's where healthy probiotics are!) It will not be as thick as store-bought yogurt because thickeners are not added.  Remember to set 1/2 a cup aside for your next batch!

The yogurt will last about 1-2 weeks in the fridge, but use the starter-yogurt within a week.

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